STAND. COM. REP. NO.  715

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2017

 

RE:   H.B. No. 498

      H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Joseph M. Souki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

     Your Committee on Education, to which was referred H.B. No. 498 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EARLY LEARNING,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose of this measure is to strengthen early learning in Hawaii by:

 

     (1)  Broadening the scope of the early learning program to include early childhood development;

 

     (2)  Adjusting the thresholds at which children are considered "at-risk" or "underserved";

 

     (3)  Expanding the role of the renamed Early Learning Board beyond simply an advisory capacity and amending the powers of certain members of the Board; and

 

     (4)  Authorizing the Early Learning Board to appoint and annually evaluate the Director of the Executive Office on Early Learning.

 

     The Executive Office on Early Learning, State Public Charter School Commission, Early Learning Advisory Board, Early Childhood Action Strategy, Hawaii Children's Action Network, Kamehameha Schools, and three concerned individuals supported this measure.  The Department of Human Services supported the intent of the measure.  A concerned individual submitted comments.

 

     Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

     (1)  Making further adjustments to the thresholds at which children are considered "at-risk" or "underserved";

 

     (2)  Requiring the Director of the Executive Office on Early Learning to have taken major coursework in early childhood education and child development and preferably hold an academic degree in the field of early childhood education and child development;

 

     (3)  Modifying the membership of the Early Learning Board and making conforming amendments;

 

     (4)  Specifying that priority for the Executive Office on Early Learning Public Prekindergarten Program will be extended to four-year-old children who are underserved or at-risk and whose family income is at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level;

 

     (5)  Changing its effective date to July 1, 2051, to encourage further discussion; and

 

     (6)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity, consistency, and style.

 

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 498, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 498, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

ROY M. TAKUMI, Chair